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August 6, 2012
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Commission: Esteemed--On the Rocks by punker--rocker Commission: Esteemed--On the Rocks by punker--rocker
I'll let :icondestiny-smasher:, who commissioned this, do the explaining. First, here's an excerpt from his upcoming fic "Esteemed," and the scene this illustration depicts:
--------
I never asked for this.

The stone floor was cool against her feet. The chilled glass was soothing between her fingers. Her once dry lips were wet and numb. Her face was warm and relaxed from the buzz her drinks had brought on. Her body ached all over from another rough day at work. Taking maternal leave from such a demanding job only to thrust herself back into the job had been more difficult than she'd anticipated. Getting into the thick of things again -- where Toph preferred to be -- should've been much easier than it felt if she was the 'World's Greatest Earthbender,' right? It shouldn't have been a problem. But it was.

And damn, did she just ache all over right now. Within the hour, she'd be back home, alone with a screaming banshee she barely knew how to deal with yet.

Another night, lacking in sleep, trying to pacify her unexpected baby.
Another morning, dead-tired, trying to pacify the Council.
Another afternoon, sore all over, trying to pacify the City.
No freedom, no fun, no time, no friends, no control.
The good old days seemed like a distant memory.

Long ago, Toph had run away from home to escape the prison her family had locked her up in, where she had been forced to create a fake identity for them to love. Here she was, two decades later, feeling trapped in a different kind of prison, wearing a different kind of mask that she'd made for herself -- this one came with a badge.
--------------

Depicting Chief Toph Beifong of the RCPD in a scene from 'Esteemed.' The story is about Toph's stressful life in adulthood, trying to balance the duties of police work while figuring out how to raise her daughter, Lin. A sample of this story can be read here: [link] The art gallery for this story can be found here: [link]
-----------------

Now it's me talking again. :D I can honestly say that I am not generally a reader of fan-fiction, but :icondestiny-smasher: seems to be in a league of his own. I've read the preview of this fic as well as an entire completed story that he did previously, and I am seriously impressed by the quality of his writing and characterizations. If you like fan-fiction, Avatar, or just appreciate good writing, check out his page!

Aaaaaaaand don't forget to leave a comment if you like my artwork or if you have some constructive advice. That's all folks! :D

:bulletblue: Commission details: [link]
Add a Comment:
 
:iconmelomiku:
Melomiku Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2014  Student General Artist
Spoiler alert! She has two daughters. He he he sorry...
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:iconwakko666:
Wakko666 Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2013
she is such a babe
Reply
:icondestiny-smasher:
Destiny-Smasher Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
She is. If you haven't, you should take a look at the rest of the gallery for this project, there's plenty more wonderful artwork of an older Toph for this story concept.
[link]
Reply
:iconws235:
ws235 Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2013

I came up with tiny extension for this story. Here it is, but don't feel like you have to add it on.


Toph gulped down the rest of her drink and set the glass down on the table . Reaching for her small purse, she prepared to go home to face the inevitable. She sifted through the small bag to pay the tab, feeling though the coins for the right amount. She always carried coins; their differing sizes and textures allowed her to tell how much she had, and it wasn't enough. "Damn" she muttered under her breath. How could this day get any worse? Maybe the bartender would understand if she explained her situation and.. Her thoughts were interrupted by footsteps approaching her from the bar. "Here." a mans voice says to her, followed by the sound of coins clanking on the table. He walked by by without stopping. Toph perked up, surprised and relived by the strangers generosity. "Hey, thanks!" she said. "Hey, would you like to join me for one more ..." She heard the entrance door slam shut. "Drink..." she said to the now empty bar. Sure, she thought. Go. Just go. Just throw some money at the problem and walk out the door without so much as a goodbye, just like he did. Just like he did...


Like it?

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:iconwakko666:
Wakko666 Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2013
That's how I feel sometimes, have no idea what to do with my life and what the next step should be
Reply
:iconpunker--rocker:
punker--rocker Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Join the club, because I think I'm the president. :)
Reply
:iconwakko666:
Wakko666 Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2013
right on
Reply
:iconchickirox:
Chickirox Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
what is Esteemed??
Reply
:icondestiny-smasher:
Destiny-Smasher Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
You can read a preview for the story here: [link]
I'm still finishing my current project, 'What I Learned at SRU.' For now, I'm conceptualizing ideas and scenes for this new story I will work on, and having artwork made. You see all of that in the gallery at the FB group:
:iconesteemed-beifongs:
or at the Facebook page for the project: [link]
Reply
:iconpunker--rocker:
punker--rocker Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It's a fan-fic by :icondestiny-smasher: about Toph's life as an adult. I don't think he's posted any chapters yet but he has a preview written and his other Avatar writing is excellent, so I'd definitely recommend checking it out. :)
Reply
:iconchickirox:
Chickirox Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
Is it tokka??
Reply
:iconpunker--rocker:
punker--rocker Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The preview of it is, at least. I'm not sure how the fic will end.
Reply
:iconfanfics4ever:
fanfics4ever Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
dang, locked up all over again.
you think the Gaang would've stuck around, huh?
Reply
:iconpunker--rocker:
punker--rocker Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Umm....stuck around? I'm not sure what you mean.
Reply
:iconfanfics4ever:
fanfics4ever Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
it sounds like she's left all alone.
don't you think someone in the Gaang would be in Republic City to help her out with Lin?
Reply
:iconpunker--rocker:
punker--rocker Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh, no they're all still around. If you read the preview of "Esteemed" that he posted (the link is in my artist's comments) then you'll see her interacting with Aang and Sokka.
Reply
:icondestiny-smasher:
Destiny-Smasher Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
They do, I bet. After all, they're pretty much all living in Republic City as adults. Aang and Katara no-doubt live on Air Temple Island, Sokka's a Councilman, and Toph's a Police Chief. So I bet they all still spent time together as adults.

But adult life can be much more complicated than living as kids. You have responsibilities -- and kids of your own some times.
Reply
:iconfanfics4ever:
fanfics4ever Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
well, don't you think they'd at least help her out? if they did she wouldn't feel so locked up...
Reply
:icondestiny-smasher:
Destiny-Smasher Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
They do help her out -- but they also are adults with busy lives.
Her feeling locked up is meant to be more metaphorical, not literal. ^_^;
Like she is trapped in the expectations of being a responsible adult.
Reply
:iconthesheepgoesmoo:
thesheepgoesmoo Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
The "screaming banshee" part made me lose it. Lol, poor Linny-bear. <3
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:iconpunker--rocker:
punker--rocker Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Haha I thought that was hilarious too. :D
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:icondestiny-smasher:
Destiny-Smasher Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Haha. ^_^; I think in the first months of motherhood Toph would probably look at her child as a noise-maker more than anything else, heh.
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:iconipwnlocks:
ipwnlocks Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
i read like... chapter one of SRU, and it pissed me off, i was CONVINCED i was going to read it all and love it, but there are just TOO many variations from the main cannon for me to get into it, its so different, its like "why not just use all OCs instead?" there is no reason to use the characters from avatar.
Reply
:icondestiny-smasher:
Destiny-Smasher Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
What on earth made you convinced you'd read it and love it?
As punker--rocker already pointed out, I totally DO use the characters from Avatar.
Their personalities are very much intended to be derived from the original show's characters.
But it seems you're only interested in the bending and the fantasy, so yes -- if that is your primary draw to Avatar, then God, no, that is not a story for you, and I don't know how you were convinced you'd like it. xD
Reply
:iconipwnlocks:
ipwnlocks Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
well, like you said i was convinced id like it because all the fan art, i looked it up and read like 3 pages of reviews and people were all like "i love it", "best fan fic ever", "cant wait for more" so i just ASSUMED it was amazing and i would like it.

and yes it just isnt avatar without bending. i think it makes the characters so damn boring to just be normal.
Reply
:icondestiny-smasher:
Destiny-Smasher Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Oh, I see. Well, then I guess that means the story has reached a good point of popularity if even someone like you, who's basically the opposite of the kind of reader who would like it, take notice.

However, I have a thought for you, here.

Without bending, the characters are "so damn boring" now, eh? Sokka. Asami. Suki. These guys are too damn boring for you, now? Or how about when someone loses their bending? They're suddenly a BORING character now, as well? No, they're not. They're still the same character, with or without superpowers. So I'm guessing you just don't like non-fantasy storytelling, then. It's not like I sucked away their bending and left them hollow -- I gave them real-life skills, like any of US would have. Like, say...writing?

But if you're the type who writes with a focus on the characters' BODIES rather than their personalities, then naturally, you'd find them boring once those bodies weren't doing magical kung-fu, and SRU is totally not the story for you. I, on the opposite end, find smut entirely boring and uninteresting. But I don't go to pages of smut-writers or their artwork and call them "gay as fuck," now, do I? So now we come full circle and I ask -- what's the point in even complaining about it? And doing so HERE? On an artwork of a canon-based Toph? It doesn't make any sense.

If you don't like something not for any critical, logical reason, but simply because it doesn't suit your tastes...then don't bother with it, and call it a day. ~shrug~ I'm totally open for actual critique of my writing. But all your remarks are doing are basically like complaining about oranges because they are orange-colored and round. =P So it's somewhat useless to both you AND me.
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:icongoldendragon326:
GoldenDragon326 Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2012
'All your remarks are doing are basically like complaining about oranges because they are orange-colored and round.' Phf, haha. Got a chuckle outta that.
And one thing about AU stories... In some cases, it'd be a simple matter to change names and descriptions, and have the story be completely original.
The whole point of AU stories, I believe, are people wanting to see their favorite fictional characters in new situations they wouldn't be put into in canon.
But, in the case of SRU, you really can't 'make it original.' There are a lot of scenes/lines/situations taken from canon that have Avatar fans grinning at the familiarity. It's tied together very nicely.
Reply
:icondestiny-smasher:
Destiny-Smasher Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
That's pretty much why SRU couldn't just have the names changed. Its DNA is a blend of my own real-life experiences but characters, events, and references from the show. It'd be too complicated to untangle the two aspects of it. I'd be better off just writing something new from scratch, haha. But ideally, Avatar fans (and even some readers who aren't Avatar fans, funny enough) are enjoying a very unique story with characters they're familiar with.
Reply
:icongoldendragon326:
GoldenDragon326 Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2012
Ya, I think its the best writers that really take a piece of themselves and put it into their stories. Makes them better.
And I wouldn't want SRU to be 'untangled,' anyway. 'Tis awesome as it. ^.^
And really, non-avatar fans are reading?
(Mwahaha! Convert! Convert! : P)
Reply
:iconpunker--rocker:
punker--rocker Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
If you're talking about the ships that are at the beginning, they change to the canon ships later, I'm pretty sure. And it's AU anyway so that means it doesn't have to be canon. I just love the way he writes the Avatar characters.
Reply
:icondestiny-smasher:
Destiny-Smasher Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Yes, you are correct -- the ships do change over the story, just as real relationships do (I like to think of, like, How I Met Your Mother, or Friends, in that regard, a long story about a group of pals and the romances are just once aspect that changes over time, like real life).

Odd fact: it was in writing SRU!Taang (which of course eventually ends in a break up) and drawing from my own real life marriage, I realized that my own marriage was going the same way Toph and Aang's relationship was! A lot of those two and their breakup is very personally derived from my real life, and I'd like to think it's that complex dynamic that lends some melancholy and authenticity to the characters as we see them grow through it.
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:iconipwnlocks:
ipwnlocks Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
well, the ships i didnt care for. but i was talking more about the fact that APPARENTLY they aren't even benders, toph cant see through bending, its set in modern times, the gaang hadnt met until college, it takes place on like earth, (there was a reference to LA). just too much stuff is changed.... why not just use completely new characters, almost nothing that makes the avatar characters themselves is the same in the story.
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:iconpunker--rocker:
punker--rocker Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well except for their personalities, which he nails. It's set in this world so of course they're not benders.
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:iconipwnlocks:
ipwnlocks Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
gay as fuck. that is just too much of a stretch for me.
Reply
:icondestiny-smasher:
Destiny-Smasher Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
WOW, I finally have a HATER! Almost two years, and I finally have one.
Thanks! You've only confirmed that enough people have given it a read where I have a hater. xD
(works never get haters until there's actually some decent amount of people looking at them, after all)

But seriously, I don't think you get the point of the story, which is fine! You must only like Avatar for its magical/fantasy setting, instead of its brilliant characters and personalities (which is what SRU is all about, the CHARACTERS, whom I love). But hey -- SRU isn't for everyone. There's over 200 pieces of art for it, now, and lots of people have been supportive of the project -- and that's good enough for me. =) I'm sorry it didn't tickle your fancy, but it's more for college students and adults than it is for children or teens. ^_^;

Based on your icon (trollface) your sig ("I wrote lemons. come at me bro") I'm just going to assume that you are about as opposite as SRU's target audience, is anyway. =)

If you really think I'm "gay as fuck," though, I challenge you to read THIS, which I also wrote, based in the canonical world. [link]
Reply
:iconipwnlocks:
ipwnlocks Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
uhhg, i never like getting into an argument with another author; especially over their work. I never said there was anything wrong with what you are doing with SRU, just that with so many changes (bending, time setting, world they live in, ships,) it just doesnt feel like avatar to me. so i dont like it.

and yes, i love the bending aspect of avatar. and im a college student AND a teenager...

about the signature, yea... i write lemons, which im going to assume you dont? every writer has a specialty, and mine happens to be smut; and yours is... drama/romance?
Reply
:icondestiny-smasher:
Destiny-Smasher Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
First of all -- don't call anyone's work "gay as fuck" if you don't want to get into an argument. Because that's just plain rude, and to some it's flat-out offensive. If you had phrased your opinion differently, you wouldn't have come across as a jerk. Though it begs the question -- what's the point in complaining about it HERE, or at all? Not being able to grasp or enjoy the concept of an alternate universe is fine, but...what's the point in complaining? And this isn't even SRU artwork you were commenting on, either. There's just no productive point for anyone, is what I'm saying.

Also, I actually was being technical -- the story has lots of swearing, so TECHNICALLY, it's not intended for young teens. Though I certainly encourage MATURE teens to read it.

And no, I don't write nor do I read "lemons" because the literary purpose is beyond me. You say that something doesn't feel like Avatar if the bending is gone? Sex isn't a part of Avatar storytelling, either. I've seen and read just about all Avatar I write about CHARACTERS, not their BODIES. ;) So really, we're BOTH stretching things into places the series didn't originally go into -- and isn't that the whole point of fanfiction?
Reply
:iconpunker--rocker:
punker--rocker Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Whatevs. To each his own.
Reply
:icondestiny-smasher:
Destiny-Smasher Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Haha, I almost feel flattered to have a hater, as odd as that sounds. xD
Thanks for sticking up for me, though! -^_^- I am flattered.
Reply
:iconpunker--rocker:
punker--rocker Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That's awesome, haha. :D No problem!
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:iconnightauctor:
NightAuctor Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Dang, you captured the mood of the excerpt really well! If I hadn't seen your picture before reading, this is exactly how I see the scene playing out in my head anyway. I especially like how the background looks more "sketchy" and out-of-focus. In short, fantastic job! :D
Reply
:icondestiny-smasher:
Destiny-Smasher Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I can't remember how specific I was with the pose, but yea, she did a GREAT job on this, I actually intentionally waited until after she'd drawn it to write the excerpt because I knew her artwork would help inspire me and get me in the mood for it!
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:iconpunker--rocker:
punker--rocker Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks! He actually gave me the excerpt after I drew the picture so I guess we were just thinking along the same lines. :D And the background sketchiness was just me being uninspired but I'm glad you think it looks good haha.
Reply
:iconcreepella:
creepella Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2012
I really like how her armor turned out here. There's a great luster and shine to it
Reply
:icondestiny-smasher:
Destiny-Smasher Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
That's a detail I love about this -- the lighting is all dim and moody, and it reflects off the armor in an atmospheric way.
Reply
:iconpunker--rocker:
punker--rocker Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks! I'm glad you think it came out well. :D
Reply
:iconwatson4795:
watson4795 Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2012
Amazing job!!
Reply
:iconpunker--rocker:
punker--rocker Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks!
Reply
:icongenesisman:
genesisman Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2012
now i need a beer
Reply
:icondestiny-smasher:
Destiny-Smasher Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Here, here!
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