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Submitted on
June 6, 2010
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Ironic by woohooligan Ironic by woohooligan
This image is available for commercial use. Note me to discuss licensing.

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EDIT: Woohoo! I won 4th place in the #KickYourOwnAss Challenge! :la:

Check out all 5 winners!

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Wow! This image is #10 out of 40,000 by popularity in a search for "ironic". That's the top 10th of the top 1%. Thanks guys! :la:
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:icondalinksystem:

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Well life has a funny way of sneaking up on you
When you think everything's okay and everything's going right
And life has a funny way of helping you out when
You think everything's gone wrong and everything blows up
In your face

It's a traffic jam when you're already late
It's a no-smoking sign on your cigarette break
It's like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife
It's meeting the man of my dreams
And then meeting his beautiful wife
And isn't it ironic... don't you think
A little too ironic... and yeah I really do think...

It's like rain on your wedding day
It's a free ride when you've already paid
It's the good advice that you just didn't take
Who would've thought ... it figures

~ Alanis Morissette - Ironic

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I'm really happy with this. It turned out a lot better than I'd expected. :la:

My parents sent me to private schools as a kid and I think that had a lot to do with my having gotten into the theater in high-school, despite the fact that I was autistic (although I didn't know it at the time). The comedy and tragedy masks ("sock and buskin" from the Greek theater tradition) are the most widely recognized symbol of the theater. They're the only widely recognized symbol I know of personally at least.

It's kind of ironic that I would have been involved in the theater, given my autism, with it's traditional symptoms like social anxiety, introversion and flat expression (the opposite of what you want on stage). But that's not why I'm titling this "Ironic". The masks are themselves actually just another expression of duality, just like angel/devil themes that are also pretty common, even cliched. What I find really interesting and ironic about this is that in all our fiction, we always present the good-evil duality like these masks, even though it's the opposite of what we say life should be like.

All our lives we're fed sayings like "love conquers all" or "good always triumphs over evil". Yet in our movies and TV shows, it's always the hero who's tragic and the villain (these days usually the garden variety "psychopath") who's smiling. You'll never see someone creating a show where the villain is tragic and brooding and the hero is smilingly optimistic.

Imagine the Dark Knight with the roles reversed - the Joker is the hero and the tortured Bruce Wayne, avenging his parents, as the villain. ;P It'll never happen.

The real irony here, I think, is that what we present in our movies is the opposite of what we say in everyday life, and that this negative image of our aspirations has become so embedded in our culture that it's actually the cliche for all our entertainment. :D

Not sure exactly how many hours -- I think it's around 20-ish hours - Photoshop CS4, HP Touchsmart TX2Z tablet notebook.

This is also a revisit of an older image from my gallery done back in 2007, for the #KickYourOwnAss group challenge in which you redraw the very first image in your gallery. Here's a comparison of the original version from 2007 and the new version from 2010.



And because it was such a great learning experience, I decided to post this process image with some commentary about my technique here:

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:icondrdivine:
The comedy and tragedy mask are an icon in theatre arts that most people are either already familiar with, or have seen a glance of at least once in their lifetime. I found myself enjoying this piece very much, the colors are bright and the expressions of both mask are well executed. The burning eyes on the satanic mask (along with his devilish grin) are a nice touch, you can tell that this mask is truly evil, and he enjoys every second of it. The other mask, as stated previously, is well executed in getting the emotional response through. The tears, along with the pale color choices, makes this mask feel more sorrow. My only suggestions would be to make the grayish shadowing on the right side of the devil's face harder. I feel it blends a little too much with the sad mask, but this doesn't hurt the piece much at all. I would've also liked to see maybe some background elements, but I understand this is a choice upon the artist.

Overall, with great visuals and excellent color choices, you can't go wrong with these mask, and I would definitely like to see them printed on a shirt someday.
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:iconmaster-of-the-boot:
Master-of-the-Boot Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
This is sort of why I liked those serial cartoons that ran and ran. Because even though at the end of the day good prevailed, it was only for another day. And while a villain could be beaten, evil endured and so did the circumstances that created it.

Plus sometimes I don't want a happy ending, it's good to cry once in a while
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:iconwoohooligan:
woohooligan Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
You mean like Spy vs. Spy? Or are we talking Rocky & Bullwinkle? ;P
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:iconmaster-of-the-boot:
Master-of-the-Boot Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I never actually watched Rocky and Bullwinkle, I was thinking of more along the lines of Batman: The Animated series. Batman locks up the crooks but the city is still a bleak and awful place. Plus I think that the security at Arkham Asylum is on permenant vacation
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:iconwoohooligan:
woohooligan Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Ahh... yeah, I really enjoyed the animated BatMan too.

Rocky and Bullwinkle used to have these Russian nemesis named Boris & Natasha. And then there was Dudley Do-Right, who was a separate series of shorts that were part of the R&B show. His villain was Snidely Whiplash who had a black top-hat & cape and a long black handlebar mustache and was constantly wringing his hands... Those two were made to be parodies of old-time melodramas, so they were deliberate cliches. ;P
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:iconnishagandhi:
nishagandhi Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
amazing work!
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:iconwoohooligan:
woohooligan Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks, Nisha! :D
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:iconcalliope-to-caliborn:
calliope-to-caliborn Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
awesomeness!
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:iconcriissa:
criissa Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2011
love it full of expression!:love:
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:iconwoohooligan:
woohooligan Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks, Criissa! :aww:
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:iconlothar1410:
lothar1410 Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2011
great concept!
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