Month: July 2014

I notice that you get accused of cheating a lot, but I was curious, how do you feel about artists who do the things you often get accused of doing? Like tracing or smudging photos? You never seem very worried about defending yourself or giving proof to people, which tells me that maybe you don’t think it’s a terribly bad thing to be accused of that stuff.





It’s totally not bad. Photomanipulation is a legit artform that requires a ton of skill and a lot of hard work. I’m impressed as hell by people who can do it well.

But in my experience, haters don’t think that way. They just want to take you down a notch, and “You traced!” is an easy way to do that. Which is stupid because any artist knows that tracing doesn’t replace skill.

As for people who misrepresent themselves? I understand it, but it’s still frustrating. I don’t know why people don’t just say what they do. If you smudge a photo, then just say it, you know? I don’t know why people are afraid of being proud of the work they do. Probably because society has us all brainwashed about what “real art” is supposed to be. We think talent is a magical thing that falls out of the sky at random instead of being something that an individual can earn—and therefore deserve. We don’t like to believe that other people deserve something if we can’t deserve it, too, you know?

That’s why misrepresenting yourself because you think one form of art is more legit than another makes life harder for all of us. Because you’re just widening that chasm. You’re just one more voice telling everyone that not all art is valid and that not everyone deserves to be able to make art or define art for themselves.

So we end up with more and more people who have unrealistic ideas of what art is supposed to look like. Which means you end up with more haters.

It’s a rotten cycle, and it shouldn’t be that way. Art isn’t exclusive.

As for defending myself, I don’t go out of my way because it’s not worth my time.

Honestly, I think a lot of it goes back to grade school stigma. What’s one of the first admonitions of the kindergarten teacher? Color inside the lines. Why? The person who drew the coloring book left the background bushes and trees unfinished because they reached the edge of the paper. Real bushes and trees don’t fade into oblivion, do they? Lines aren’t reliable.

Another one I heard all through early elementary was, “Don’t scribble.” Scribble. A vague piece of advice if ever there was one. But if another kid saw you doing what they perceived as scribbling, they would pounce on you as if they’d caught you stealing milk money. I thought it was maybe just a quirk of the school I went to but my kids have mentioned it too. As far as I can tell, scribble just means coloring fast. Heaven forbid I don’t feel like taking my time filling in the big spaces…

So it goes. Somewhere in there, it becomes a sin to trace, yes, because some kids represent that as their own art, because kids are insecure. And because other kids are insecure, too, they pounce and take down the charlatan. But it is absolutely true that tracing isn’t drawing. I sometimes use tracing to help me work out proportion… I draw the subject first because, yeah, I’d prefer to just draw it right myself, then separately trace from the source because to be honest, even after years of drawing and study, I cannot get eyes in the right place. I even dreamed last night about a vampire who drew his self-portrait in burgundy wine colored pencil and I was looking at it thinking, “Huh, NO ONE can get the eyes right, can they?” Not making this up. So I trace and look at the trace lines and compare to my own drawing. A trace looks ridiculous on its own. The unexpected quirks of facial anatomy can’t be hidden in it. And I can usually figure out where I lost it and correct the original drawing.

What’s more, tracing your own work is almost essential, at least for me. I learned in one drawing class to draw the subject, then overlay tracing paper and make corrections until you have it the way you want it, then transfer and complete. It was like morning sunrise to me, learning that. And digital just makes that easier.

But yeah, why not just say it? How many people are popular artists using found objects or collage? Tracing to the right effect is no less valid. It’s not drawing, but it can be art.

Crap, I’m ranting again. I blame the head cold.

That was perfect, though.

So perfect. My kids are going to smart asses and scibble even faster when called out

My wife is a pro artist, so Mi know that this is an accurate account of socialization and they arts.



hey guys!! i want some more people to follow who post magic, so reblog this if you post anything relating to…

  • girls who play magic/feminism in magic
  • azorius!! best guild!!
  • chandra
  • magic fanart, fanfiction, or cosplay
  • you follow and talk about the plot in general
  • magic…

Take a look at my blog.

Card Corner: Aladdin’s Ring

Aladdin’s Ring (9th. Ed.)

Today, I want to discuss a little-seen played card, that has a unique usage in Commander. Direct damage is usually only found in Red or a color mix, that contains Red (R/W, R/G, R/U, etc.). Colorless artifacts can give unique access to use this power in other colors; Aladdin’s Ring in no exception.

Having a casting cost of 8, and a matching activation cost, is a huge disadvantage. The reasons for this, back at the card’s inception was to limit the abuse/power creep that a colorless source of direct damage could have, over a Red source. Flash forward to today, with a large-format, slower game style, numerous ramp and mana rock resources, and the card now has renewed potential.

This would be a perfect addition to a Green-heavy Commander deck, that has land ramp, and the aforementioned mana rocks. Since Green only has strong support for fight mechanics for creature removal/control, this allows another resource to the toolbox, without having to play another color, like Red. Secondly, taking a beefy Astral Cornucopia, with a bunch of counters, makes the Ring card a 1-2 punch! Splashing Blue, you could Ensoul Artifact the Ring to give you a 5/5 creature, when either you do not have 8 mana free or need a blocker/attacker. I can see this might also fit an Artifact-heavy deck with or without Affinity.

Coming in at under .25 USD, it is a bargain. Check this card out, and shoot me an Ask, and let me know what you think.


Command Tower Giveaway: Fiery Redhead Edition

Hey guys, it’s Jon here with Command Tower. I want to thank you all so much for the support you’ve shown this blog since I started it a little more than a year ago. I’ve got more followers now than I ever expected and people have sent such amazing replies to my articles and card breakdowns telling me what a huge help they’ve been. Even when I had to take a bit of time away for a while, you guys were there to wish me well and make me feel welcome again when I came back, and that’s amazing.

As a small way of trying to say thank you, I’m going to be doing a little giveaway. I built up a prize package package based around Magic’s star pyromancer, Chandra. If you’re one of my followers and you’d like to win some neat Red-aligned stuff, then here’s your chance.

The package includes:
 – 1 Pop! Vinyl Chandra Nalaar figure
 – 1 foil Chandra Nalaar card
 – 1 Chandra T-Shirt (size is mismarked as XXL, shirt is actually somewhere between L and XL)

Here’s how to enter:
 – Please be following Command Tower. This is a thank you giveaway to my followers. If you’re interested in the stuff, then you’ll probably like my blog, so feel free to check it out first if you’d like to enter!

 – Each person can enter twice — once by liking this post, and then again by reblogging it. Comments on this post will not be counted as entries.

 – I’ll choose one winner in a couple weeks’ time and send them a private message letting them know that they took it home.

Please get your entries in by August 15th if you’re interested in the prize. 

Good luck to everyone who enters, and thanks again for all the amazing support you’ve shown Command Tower over the past year!

Here is my reblog entry.

New Giveaway!


I had a giveaway going for a fat pack, but I decided I wanted to, up the ante a bit.

I have an unopened M15 booster box waiting for me next Friday, but instead of opening it I decided I’d give you guys a chance! (Before anything is said, I payed a total of 6 dollars for 3 raffle tickets and won,…

Look into this contest, everybody.

New Giveaway!



So publications like IGN (link) can call out Duels of the Planeswalkers on micro-transactions, but little old me can’t?

I understand companies are sensitive to reviews and certainl levels of journalist bias, but controlling reviews and negative press? Now, controlling their actual player base?


I called them in this, too on my Tumblr blog. Check it out

Commander help




ok so these are the ones i’ve made:

Commander Option A
Irdix, the Slaughterer
Legendary Creat – Demon Pig
Morbid – Whenever a creature dies, put a +1/+1 counter on @
Remove three +1/+1 counters from @:
Destoy target permanent.

Commander Option B
Irdix, the Slaughterer

Definitely A or D. The others are way too bonkers. haha

what does “bonker” means? jahaja

Bonkers means crazy or insane.

Commander help


Am I the only one that sees that FNM is full of pro players, like 9 out of 12 players, playing decks that are going to be contenders in pro league play, making someone who likes to play for fun and only somewhat slightly competitive un able to have fun. I can only face the “I…

Too common of a problem. One of the reasons I like online play with various formats; great player base/choices.

A Quick Follow-Up on Duels 2015

Last week, I gave a review/editorial on the new Duels 2015 that landed on PC, iPad, XBox 360, and XBox One. In that review, I brought up the issue of micro-transactions to unlock a block of exclusive cards. This has become a divisive issue for many, and has led to some flame wars on the Steam forums and others. I still feel that the game is Pay-2-Win, but after having played the demo, it is a polished game and runs well (for me, but not for others, I have seen).

I did not get much feedback on this issue, so I want to open the gates to hearing from you. My Ask box is open, and I am very willing to hear back from you all. Also, if you have ideas or cards, you want to discuss, please drop me a line. This blog is designed to have interchange between myself, the Magic community, and the whole Tumblr community, at large. Until next week…