• Member Since 26th Apr, 2012
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You've got the heart of a phoenix! Profile Art by Bevin Brand. Writing: The Ex Files.

More Blog Posts60

  • 1 week
    Art Commissions Open

    Bevin has commissions open!! You like the art in Empathy for the Devil? Go support a great artist and get some of your own 🎨

    Here's some examples of what people have commissioned in the past of cannon characters and/or OCs:

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    2 comments · 86 views
  • 6 weeks
    Fanfic Spotlight: Liminal Space

    Fanfiception :pinkiegasp:

    Whoa, okay, someone just did me the super cool kindness of writing something within the Empathy-verse! It's a story called Liminal Space about Timber and Flash's new relationship, after The Exes Club but before Empathy for the Devil.

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    2 comments · 103 views
  • 6 weeks
    Empathy for the Devil Print Copies - Online Release!

    Book status: launched

    The links are live! Get yours and don't forget there's a zine with 150 pages of never-before-seen art, writing, and dorking out! (some never to be posted online ever)

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    4 comments · 345 views
  • 8 weeks
    For Everfree 2023

    I'll be at Everfree Northwest next week! Here's the deets:

    Buy copies of our stuff at Twilight's Book Nook (booth 9 in the Vendor Hall)
    Empathy for the Devil - $23 USD / $30.78 CAD

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    0 comments · 134 views
  • 15 weeks
    Empathy for the Devil Print Edition Release Date and More!

    Happy 10-year anniversary, Equestria Girls!!! Can't believe how time flies.

    To celebrate, we’ve got a book on our hands. One that could soon also be in yours.

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    10 comments · 484 views

Bonus Features: The Devils You Know · 7:48pm January 20th

Oh, how far we come!

Q: What did you struggle with the most in creating the writing and art?
MARVEL: ::rubs hands together:: Oooo, I've been waiting to get talk about this

Stage setting: It was spring 2020, I'd just finished writing chapter 12, in the midst of writing chapter 13, and just finished releasing Part I. Things had actually gone fairly smooth up to that point (which will shortly become ironic because of the similarities between 12 and 14). We never announced a release date for Part II, but if Bevin and I sounded fairly confident it would be a short break, it's because we were. I'd written like 90% of the story, and the chapter cover art was well underway

Chapter 14 kicked my ass 😂 Several earlier chapters took, I don't know, maybe a few weeks to write? Even accounting for chapter length, 14 took half a year to even get it to a full first draft. And maybe 4 months in I had to re-write what I had basically from scratch

Imposter syndrome hit pretty hard (I had a lot of positive feedback all of the sudden from part I and was suddenly confronted with the fear of delivering subpar material after all that build-up). And also, narratively, I had to rework the fights so many times. There was a whole draft where the Rainbooms were possessed by the Shadowbooms to fight Sunset, and it took using Bevin as a sounding board and brainstorming to realize that entire fight should be the Rainbooms vs. the Shadowbooms instead. Better narrative parallels to what Sunset has gone through, more in line with what they needed as characters

And it didn't stop there. I did get 14 to a place that I was happy enough with and moved onto 15. After that, I had other writing projects to focus on, let the editor do his thing, etc. But Bevin had had a few good notes for 14 (relatively small, but REALLY good points), and the more I thought about it, the more I knew I needed to do yet another draft.

What you got yesterday was largely written this past fall. Almost every section of that chapter was punched up from what it was before, because I believed so much in what it could be and I knew I had it in me if given the chance. And since I had it, you better believe I took it

Perfectionism is a dual-edged blade, as the cliché goes. On the one hand, it was a large part of the reason chapter 14 was such a bitch to write for so long. On the other hand, you can argue it's why I got it to where I was truly, truly happy with the final product and savoured the process of fixing it up for the final time! The trouble with perfectionism, too, is that when you're in the worst of it, and you know it, just knowing it doesn't mean you can let it go. I haven't found a universal trick for getting out of that insecure, imposter syndrome, perfectionist headspace --sometimes I think every bout of that requires a different solution to get myself unstuck. But time, self-compassion, working on other things, and letting your brain work on things in the back of your mind, those definitely help.

BEVIN: Ahhhhh the struggles are real and eternal. I like to refer to myself as a recovering perfectionist because I've managed to make headway on my issues with it, but I definitely have relapses and the insecurities are always there, you just find ways to manage them. Doing art professionally can help in some ways, but really exacerbate it in other ways, too.

For example, when Marvel and I were first working on EftD and doing things for the first half, I was on a break from work due to burnout and a shoulder injury, and getting to do things just for the sake of having fun was a big way for me to reconnect with my love of drawing and story and working through the burnout and feelings of failure. Which turned out to be a process I'd end up going through a few more times before we finished this story. I had a rocky, insecure time for a while with my various jobs, my sense of self-confidence in my skills were all over the place, and there were illustrations for Empathy that I'd really wanted to do but ended up scrapping because I didn't feel like I had the skill to do them properly-- looking back at those sketches now, I really regret not doing them because they would have been challenging, but do-able.

In the end, it took me a pretty long time to finish the illustrations for part 2, in no small part because I was very busy with my day job, but also in part because I was psyching myself out about what I was able to do and when my ambition was outstripping my ability. But once I was able to have a rest and reconnect with the joy of creating things more than the fear of failing at it, these last pictures just flew by so fast. And when I was done with the last one (the picture of Daydream fighting Sombra), I was able to look at it in contrast to where I started at with the title cards, and seeing how much I'd learned in that span of time was really heartening. None of them are perfect, but they're all a marker of where I was at when I made them.

Time for some ass-kickin' music. (Leaving the lyrics off again for time's sake)

  • The Devil You Know by X Ambassadors
  • parachute by John K
  • DEVIL by Shinedown
  • Raise Hell by Dorothy
  • Little Lion Man by Mumford and Sons
  • Can't Fight the Moonlight by Leeann Rimes
  • Good for You by Dear Evan Hansen Soundtrack
  • You Won't by Marko
  • Kids in America by No Secrets
  • I Don't Feel like Dancin' by Scissor Sisters
  • ozymandias by Stop Light Observations
  • Shiver and Shake by Ryan Adams
  • Seasons by Rhys Lewis
  • Everybody Wants to Rule the World by Johnathan Young
  • I Am the Fire by Halestorm
  • Pop/Stars vs. Megalovania by DJ Cutman
  • Surrender the Throne by Krewella
  • She's a Blast by Beautiful Bodies
  • Unwritten by Settle Your Scores
  • St. Elmo's Fire by John Par
  • Unravel Me by Jonathan Young
  • One of Us by New Politics
  • Moment of Surrender by Nick Mulvey
  • High and Dry by Radiohead
  • Friend of the Devil by Mumford and Sons

You've now read the 3-part climax. Almost hard to believe we're here after so much went into getting to this point. We've got 1 chapter left and it's the longest one. I asked Bevin if she thought it was too long and her response was a loving but indignant, "Come on. What are you gonna cut???" Couldn't argue with her there.

For the final time for this story: See you tomorrow :heart:

Stay empathetic,
P.S. If I can conquer this chapter, you can, too.

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