Halloween Fan Works Contest results announced!

by November 3, 2015 0 comments

The Lifestream Halloween Fan works Contest is over! We had a lot of great entries, but let’s take a look at the winners for each category!

Ghost of Me (Color Variation) by Howl (TheTowerOfJoy)

Howl ran a tough race against Flare, Mage and Crash_Ouch’s incredible pieces.  But ultimately Howl’s won by a margin of 3 votes.  This incredible piece, which is actually a color variation of the original she designed details the Matron Edea from Final Fantasy VIII plagued by the visage of Sorceress Ultimecia.

What prompt did you inspire your piece on?

Prompt #4: scary place inside our minds. Edea/Matron Kramer and the evil sorceress (Ultimecia) who haunts her.

Did you have any other influences?

If you’re talking about other artists who influence me: mostly Tomomi Kobayashi, Yoshitaka Amano, H.R. Giger, Eyvind Earle, and Luis Royo to name a few.

What medium did you use for the artwork?

Watercolors, Acrylics, Ink

Tell us a bit about how you put this piece together and why you chose the subject matter.

FFVIII was my first FF, IIRC. It’s not my favorite nowadays but the subject matter is accompanied by childhood nostalgia. So, that’s how I chose which characters to use. If you’re asking how it was done, well it started with a sketch.

Tell us a bit about your other fanwork, if any.

Terra (FFVI) is one of my favorite characters, so I have a handful of Terra fanarts. Otherwise, I’m a very lazy fan artist.

Who are some of your other favorite fan artists (fanart, fanfiction)?

Tomomi Kobayashi (did the art for the SaGa Series). She is my IDOL. Okay, technically she (hopefully) got paid to do the art for those games but she does do some fanart for FFVII.

Any final thoughts?

I’m REALLY tired right now.

The Passion of the Stigma by RedFFWolf

RedFFWolf was actually the only person to submit a fanfiction entry, and it was an incredible little piece.  It didn’t seem fair to remove the contest portion simply because they were the only person to submit a piece and it’s clear RedFFWolf worked really hard on this.  The fact that they stepped up means the world in fanworks, so we took some time to talk about their piece.

What prompt did you inspire your piece on?

Fanfiction prompt #4 – A character is forced to make a Faustian bargain with the Devil. It can be the real deal or a more metaphorical devil.
My story aims for a metaphorical devil and, to a degree, a metaphorical soul. In another interpretation, it really is the soul of the main character—something a character at one point alludes to.

Did you have any other influences?

No other internal influences. At first, the fanart prompts caught my attention more, and when the option arose to mix prompts I was tempted to indulge in a little cross-breeding of ideas, but I wanted to ensure the fanfic options would not go neglected.

Outside the prompts, music is the ignition behind my writing. It is why movie scores and game soundtracks are my favourite; they are intrinsically attached to a story, setting, character, etc.. Two select soundtracks were pivotal in shaping many elements of my story, particularly the dream sequence and scenes involving the main character and the “devil”. Ever play Yume Nikki or .flow? Dark tracks set among a heavy psychological backdrop—fit music, in my eyes.

Tell us a bit about how you put this piece together and why you chose the subject matter.

While it may seem ironic in a world of fantasy and, more so, the abstract boundaries of fanfiction, I endeavoured to instil a sense of realism within the story—notably, in the characters and their personalities. So, I began with two characters who could fit the roles of the “devil” and the “beggar” and create a genuine crisis of conflict. Barret Wallace and Rufus Shinra were clear-cut picks.
Barret has that greater aggression—or, a key word of mine, “passion”—over the other main characters, and his particular form/quality worked best with the inner struggle I wanted to convey: the “forced into” aspect of the bargain in relation to the depth of one’s “soul” (in how it is defined in this story), especially when I was trying to avoid getting literal with the prompt. This is all quite unclear right now, but it makes sense (I sure hope) when reading the story.

The plot takes place during the period of Advent Children, sometime around the rise of Kadaj’s gang (who have no active role in the story but are referenced). There are some additional elements not in the original timeline, of course, but nothing too farfetched.
Originally, I thought of Barret’s business crumbling and how one of his lines in FFVII about paying Cloud after their first mission is “That money’s for Marlene’s schoolin’….” But, it was too mild. It wasn’t believable enough to think Barret would do what he does in the story for Rufus, if it was just for salvaging his business and providing a better future for Marlene (I mean, Shinra is as good as gone already). I’ll avoid spoilers here, but when Barret discovers exactly what the consequences of his line of work are, he still continues—all for his doting daughter. So, I had it that Marlene had Geostigma. The revelations continue as to why it takes a lot for Barret to concede to working for Rufus, but side by side are the growing aspects that suggest the idea of selling one’s soul all the more. In a sense, I gave myself a challenge by making it as realistic as I could. On the other hand, in doing so, Barret was the easiest choice.

Tell us a bit about your other fanwork, if any.

My only piece of fanfiction up until this point has been my “Final Fantasy: Battle Royale”. (Facebook Page Here) An idea little fourteen/fifteen-year-old me thought of (how charming, when considering the subject matter) but never followed through fully. Fast-forward seven years or so, and I found myself attracted to the idea once more. Now, just going through a period of final editing and chapter by chapter updates, I have completed part I of II. (Part II of II has all the ideas in place; it just needs to be written).

This story captures the heart of Koushun Takami’s infamous “Battle Royale”, whereby 42 students are forced to fight each other to the death, a consequence of a police-state Japan. My idea was once described to me as “Dissidia for adults”, but that would be quite generous in the macabre department. Both Takami’s and my own piece are as much an experiment in psychology as they are about “brutal action”. My own work even creates a brand new world, the Greater Gaea, with a lot of philosophical background I can only pray to be forgiven for (my degree is in philosophy, after all).

There is accompanying artwork of the players as well as world maps and even an elimination sheet (like the manga of BR), where every few chapters smudges out the profile pictures of the deceased.The antagonist has been most fun to play with. He is indeed familiar to many, and the perfect role for the ringleader of the BR setup.

While I would love to talk about any aspect of the project to anyone who wants to know anything, I must also atone for the horrific conditions I have placed these beloved characters in. Rest assured, somebody’s favourite character has been killed, and likely without the complement of dignity. If anyone’s sold their soul these days, it’s me to the plot.
5. Who are some of your other favorite fan artists (fanart, fanfiction)?

To some degree you could say I’m new to the world of “fan creation”, which includes the creations of others. And like my favourite music, I tend to enjoy individual songs more so than artists or bands. However, after seeing some of the artwork entries, I can safely say I have some I follow now.  In the world of fanfiction, I’ve been a keen supporter of our very own S and G and his “Unofficial Novelisation of FFVII” ever since I stumbled upon it sometime last year. We’ve had quite a bit of contact since, and I have much respect for him as a writer.

Any final thoughts?

While I have stuck in a few Easter Eggs in the story here and there (abstract at the best of times), there is one major inclusion that may seem easy to find now that I mention it. Have another look at the postman’s name. Bearing in mind the driving force of the story, it was a fitting “tribute”, you could say.

Anyway, my apologies for that moment of indulgence. What I would really like to say is thank you for hosting the competition. It has been a great refresher before I get to work on my original novel and a chance to experiment in style—that, and I thoroughly enjoyed writing it. Furthermore, another heartfelt thank you for allowing my current waffle to appear (truly and truly), considering the circumstances attached to my interview in the first place. I hope you don’t regret it (mandatory C. Monster insert)

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