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Survivor Shy - Snowflakes of Shimmering Hues by Mattatatta Survivor Shy - Snowflakes of Shimmering Hues by Mattatatta
"I did not know why there was a thick mass of clouds on the ground amidst the heavy snowfall, but I was thankful for it. Being a Pegasus, I could easily manipulate the cloud and carve a comfortable, cozy little space into it, and seal it off from the freezing cold outside - leaving only a tiny little hole so that I could see outside clearly and let fresh air inside easier than the packed clouds would.

"I unpacked my lantern and lit it, and brought out the copy of
Supernaturals I had with me. I decided that I was going to camp inside the cloud-igloo until the snow let up, and until then, I was going to need to settle down and pass the time. Thinking back to when I decided to take this book with me from Zecora's hut, I wasn't sure why I felt like I would need it. But now, with nothing else to do other than sit quietly and wait, I was glad to have some sort of distraction from the trouble I was in.

"I must've read no more than ten pages, learning about exotic and rare herbs used in even more extravagant and elusive potions, before I fell asleep with my head resting on the pages. When I woke up, my lantern had burned through its oil, leaving only the dim ambience peeking in through the hole connecting to the chilling winds outside. I fumbled about in the low light, somehow managing to not spill all of the lantern's oil on the ground, and finally bathed the igloo with a warm glow once more.

"I yawned and stretched achingly. I had been through a lot in the past couple of days, and the stress from near-death had also left me feeling weak. But, with the Element of Magic nestled safely in my saddlebags, it was worth it.

"I sleepily opened my eyes as my yawn ended, and looked up at the snowflakes drifting inside before melting from the igloo's warmth. The snowflakes were mostly in perfect condition rather than featureless white puffs. The careful hoofwork of the craftsponies who had made them was weathering well in the heavy snowfall. But... There was something odd about them, each and every one of the snowflakes were shimmering with the many hues of a rainbow, and as I watched them melt on the ground, I saw that the snowflakes left little drops of flowing colour before evaporating completely. I rubbed my eyes to make sure I wasn't seeing things, but the snowflakes were still shimmering and flickering all the colours of a rainbow.

"I was convinced that I was sleepy still, and needed a proper rest. I closed up the hole in the cloud-igloo's wall, turned the lantern's flame down, and settled down to sleep.

"I thought about Rainbow Dash, and how she might have known something about the snowflakes if she were here to see them. Maybe she'd have been impressed by the cloud-igloo, too.

"I curled up tighter, clinging onto the memories of my friends while trying to ignore the loneliness those same thoughts were bringing."


=~=

Also available on FimFiction!:
[link]

Survivor Shy dA Gallery: [link]

Survivor Shy FAQ: [link]

Follow my Tumblr! (WIPs, other stuff):
[link]

I'm back finally after spending a long time fighting art block and a little sickness after a weekend of adventure.

In today's update, Fluttershy shows that she still has her lantern, displays some pretty nice cloud manipulation, and increases her Survival skill by 1. This is probably the first "downtime" scene I've drawn and wrote for in a while. Which kind of reflects how I've needed the downtime myself to get back into the swing of things.

Be sure to give me your feedback! I appreciate every comment, especially those that contain theories, questions, and advice.
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:icondempsey23:
dempsey23 Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2012
My goodness she looks beat. I hope you are doing ok.
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This month wore me out in the artistic sector, I'm starting to reorganise myself and get on with more scenes.
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:icondempsey23:
dempsey23 Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2012
Always good to hear. Take care of yourself.
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:iconnameleslight:
Nameleslight Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The shading is so good! I love the way the cloud look. Overall a good picture. But I think the lantern is in the wrong perspective. It looks rather flat.
The story is good too. Nice idea with the cloud igloo. When I read about the rainbow snowflakes, the first thing I though about was oil spill, but that's not very likely in Equestria. Perhaps some of the pipes used to transport rainbows in the weather factory are starting to leak?
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I didn't sketch the lantern at an angle, part laziness, part trying-to-get-it-done-because-an-update-is-so-overdue-oh-Luna.

I did try to work some perspective into it in the actual picture, but because the viewer is looking at the flat side of it, it wasn't very good. Still, at least there's a little depth and you can the opposite side of the lantern through the mesh guarding the flame. Before I draw that it look like only side of the lantern existed!

So, the lantern is bit of a fail, but I didn't want to stress over it any further - especially after agonising over Fluttershy's sketch and final drawing so much.

The rainbow snowflakes have significance to the story, and are foreshadowing something, much like the alleged sighting of Applejack.

Fun fact: The rainbow snowflakes were a late addition, at first they were just white with a slight white glow. But I didn't like how the snowflakes looked, and it dawned on me that I had an opportunity to improve their look and foreshadow something.
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:iconnameleslight:
Nameleslight Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
All right.
Once again, I love the shadowing in this one. :)
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks. I tried revisiting a technique I first used to draw shadows, but with a few new things I've since learned. It's several different layers for specific parts of the picture, all set to multiply. I eyedropped Fluttershy's coat and increase the saturation slightly, and dropped the brightness down a tiny bit, and used that for the majority of the picture. To make sure shadows stayed clean and didn't carry over from one thing to another that shouldn't have a shadow, I used a selection tool to select by colour, and gradually selected what I wanted to put a shadow over. Then I could easily draw a shadow on something without having go onto something that it shouldn't go on.

To tidy up the shadows and make them behave according to lighting, I used an eraser on a low density setting so that it would erase things gradually - which is much cleaner and efficient than blurring with a watercolour tool like I have been in the past.

Hooray for improvements!
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:iconnameleslight:
Nameleslight Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hooray indeed. ^^
Your comment made me take a closer look on the shadows (clicked the download button). I noticed a few of them where slightly of. I've heard that it's easier if you put the line work on a separate level above the others. But that's up to you.
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I like to keep shadows over linework, so that the lines darken too. If I were working with black lines, then it wouldn't matter, I suppose.
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:iconnintendofreak768:
nintendofreak768 Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2012
Damn. I don't know where this fits in the overall story. D:> do I have to read everything all over again?
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well, she's carrying the Element of Magic, she's been wandering in a growing snowstorm before finding a shelter, and her recent escapades have drained her terribly.

See "Oh... My..." (and scenes that you know occured even before that scene) and "Falling".
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:iconnintendofreak768:
nintendofreak768 Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012
Thanks
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
No problem
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:iconoberonknight:
OberonKnight Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2012
It's strange. She looks like she has found some measure of peace.
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Heavy snowfall, not blizzards, just give me that sense of peacefulness. While it is bitterly cold and threatening, it makes people carve little cozy spots for themselves to wait out the storm in warmth. It's moments like those that I find tranquil, where silent patience allows one to reflect on their past or observe the present.
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:iconlorntak:
Lorntak Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2012
I feel compelled to look into this.
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You should if you enjoy adventure stories. Just know that the series isn't in chronological order, and is made up of fragments from different parts of the story that will eventually all connect together to make a complete story. Until then, Wild Mass Guessing is encouraged!
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:icondarthwill3:
DarthWill3 Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
That's our girl!
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The pony that aches and hurts over loss, but grips onto hope like a life-preserver?
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:icondarthwill3:
DarthWill3 Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yep!
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Alrighty then!
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:iconsilverrattler:
SilverRattler Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
This is definitely a shift from the happy colorful themes Fluttershy is usually associated with in the show and some of the other fanimations. It's dark and somewhat depressing because she's all alone and in the cold, trying to survive.
I really like the colors you used here. They're definitely effective in portraying such a theme. It's gloomy and somewhat unsaturated.
I also like how clean the line art is and the expression on Fluttershy's face. She seems desperate. The bandage on her front leg is also a nice touch.
I could go on with the things I like about it, but I'm sure you don't want to read a long mess of comments. ;)

But I particularly like the rainbow colors on the snowflakes and the brightness of them. They contrast the rest of the piece very well.
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh but please write what you want, and as much as you want. I enjoy reading comments and discussing what people are thinking about. The comments help me see what I'm doing well with, what I can improve on, and also see what theories people are coming up with for certain parts of the story.

This scene is actually pretty contrasting within the Survivor Shy story when compared to the past five or six scenes I recently published. Most of the previous scenes have been more action-centric, showing Fluttershy in situations where something stressful is happening in some form. Be it a nightmare keeping her awake, or being chased by a Hound with terrifying claws. This scene here is like the consequence of so much action and so little rest. So in a meta sense, it also acts as a more slower-paced scene for not only Fluttershy to ache and heal in, but also for both the reader and I to take a moment to really absorb what has been revealed as of late.

The overall theme of the story is naturally darker and more depressing, but I'm aiming to basically show that the themes in the show can prevail even in a desperate world such as this, providing there is a will to make it happen. Meanwhile, Fluttershy's own journey shall prove to herself and others around her that she can do much more than she believes. And she'll hopefully grow into a more mature character than the innocent, shrinking violet demeanour she typically assumes as the story progresses.

I find it increasingly interesting to consider the implications and consequences of Fluttershy taking on a world that wants to strike her down, and learning to adapt.
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:iconsilverrattler:
SilverRattler Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I'll have to take a look around your gallery find the writing then. I hadn't realized this was based on something you had submitted online. I enjoy fiction that has elaborate writing and good character development. Perhaps I'll be in for a treat?

So far, it looks like an interesting read. It would be nice if those action scenes had illustrations to accompany them, but I really wish to start reading. Consider me a new watcher.

I wouldn't have thought of putting sweet, innocent Fluttershy in such scary scenarios where her instincts must guide her to survival at any cost. I like the idea of her having a will to survive in such desperate times. I know it's dark, but it's an interesting concept that I'm sure has hooked readers. We will see how the stories develop. But when I get a chance.
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
If you need an easier way to view the artwork and read the excerpts. You can always track the story on FimFiction here: [link]

The presentation is clearer, since the artwork appears at the top of each chapter, and the writing follows it. dA isn't exactly meant to have the description box used for literature, I know, and that is why I submitted the series to FimFiction also, for those who want a cleaner presentation on a better-suited website.
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:iconsilverrattler:
SilverRattler Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the link.
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:iconthundershock125:
thundershock125 Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2012
wheres spike?
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Not in this part of the story. Chronologically speaking, Spike's first appearance comes about a third through "The Elements Arc" (as I've taken to calling it), which begins roughly when Fluttershy decides to start seeking the Elements of Harmony, and ends when she recovers the last one she has missing. "The Elements Arc", however, spans over the majority of the story.
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:iconthundershock125:
thundershock125 Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2012
oh
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah, behind all of this chaotic presentation and fragmented storytelling, there's a quite a bit of planning involved.
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:iconthundershock125:
thundershock125 Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2012
...
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
My mind is a rarity, a place full of organised chaos.
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:iconthundershock125:
thundershock125 Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2012
O_o
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:icontrollfaceplz:
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(1 Reply)
:iconzaiali:
zaiali Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2012
If she is lonely, then I will keep her company.
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Only if you can pass through the barrier of your monitor.
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:iconzaiali:
zaiali Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2012
Watch me. *rams into computer and breaks it*
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
*kkkzzzztttt!!*Well tha-*bzzzz*-orked perf-*krrakk*-ly*pop**hiss*
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:iconzaiali:
zaiali Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2012
. . . Well . . .

*runs out of room*
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:iconbobtehnoob-1337:
bobtehnoob-1337 Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Can you do a Fo:E version of Fluttershy?
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I can't begin to imagine FO:E Fluttershy's style moments after the Great reached its climax, nor before.

As for after Velvet Remedy and friends cure Fluttershy of Killing Joke, and she starts living in the recovering Wasteland, I doubt she'd wear much armour or anything at all. In which case, the only thing different about her would be a few grey hairs in her mane due to her age before she was transformed into a tree.

That said, my hands are full with this series, and I'm concerned that whatever style I've developed from Survivor Shy will bleed into FO:E fanart featuring her, and how that might cause confusion between the Survivor Shy and FO:E universes.
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:iconbobtehnoob-1337:
bobtehnoob-1337 Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Ahh. Sorry about that. I just thought because it looked a little similar (maybe draw Psychoshy?)
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm not familiar with Psychoshy, I haven't read Project Horizons
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:iconbobtehnoob-1337:
bobtehnoob-1337 Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
This sexy bitch of a mare.
[link]
[link]
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
So blonde mane and tail, yellow coat, extremely aggressive, uses Power Hooves at some point, so probably likes to smash things up, or smash enemies up, or both at the same time. Interestingly has razor-blade butterflies as a Cutie Mark. How one can earn that Cutie Mark with it being a meta-Cutie Mark ("My special talent is being a sharp and lethal version of Fluttershy, who has Butterflies for a Cutie Mark) I don't know. Then later renames herself to Whisper, which probably is ironic since her demeanour most likely didn't change.
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:iconbobtehnoob-1337:
bobtehnoob-1337 Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Let's look at it this way. She is Fluttershy's daughter, and her father is the evil, cunning, megalomaniacal nephew of Blueblood. She was raised by one of Blueblood's relatives, a Canterlot Unicorn Ghoul who created a project to fuse 2 objects together, including ponies, cockatrices, dragons, and manticores. Her entire life was devoted to the Canterlot Ghoul, Sanguine.
The cutie marks in FoE aren't really surprising, if you've read the original.
I haven't got to the "Whisper" part, but she does find a kind of fuck-buddy. Who has already done the deed with Blackjack.
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I read the first line and was like "woah woah woah, what?"
So much in-depth information, but without any of the context, build-up, or anything. I can't help but feel way out of the loop
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(1 Reply)
:icongrandmoonma:
grandmoonma Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
great image of Fluttershy - our shy little friend off on adventure, looking not just sad and weary, but shell-shocked

not familiar with your writing
how much has come before?
how hard to get to?
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I was aiming to show Fluttershy really starting to be affected by her adventure (and her recent escapades at this point in the story - though only a few scenes exist that show some of what she had just got through). Going solo on a dangerous quest is not something anypony would expect Fluttershy to do, but even if she does, there is no way she'd do it without hurting. In this case, she's drained and fighting with loneliness as the world around her continues to spiral out of control. In such a situation, she needs to learn to keep her head, be it through reading or other distractions, or setting her mind on a tangible goal.


I started this series as a way to practice drawing, by sticking to a general theme of Fluttershy learning to live in an ambiguous, post-apocalyptic setting. I began writing little snippets of story for each of the pictures, and since then, the series has gained life as a sort of illustrated adventure story. However, the narrative is chaotic, scenes are not created or published in chronological order. Instead, each scene acts a brief glimpse into the world of Survivor Shy, with narration from Fluttershy. As I draw and write more, things will start to fall into place, and with careful observation and mystery solving, some readers will likely work out some of the chronology before others.

Links to FimFiction and the Survivor Shy Gallery can be found in the description. FimFiction is probably best for readers who want to read in the order of oldest scenes to newest scenes, whereas the gallery is great for readers who want to dive into the story at a random point and go from there. Either is fine.
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:icongrandmoonma:
grandmoonma Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
thank you
I love the artwork
and the story is making me curious
I'll have to follow up with it
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