Shinesparkers Feature:

The Pottery Pieces

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From a young age, I’ve always been artistic and creative. I was drawing, painting, sculpting, writing, and doing many other arts and crafts. I’d stop in the middle of the school hallway to make a drawing (holding up lines as I did so) because inspiration would strike at any time. My style has greatly evolved over time, now resembling a mix between realistic and anime. However, life has a habit of shutting down the artist in you. Because of insensitive bullies, the academic expectations of my parents and teachers who shut me down when I doodled on my work sheets, I went for a long stretch of time without doing any drawing or painting.

Fast forward to April 14, 2020. I got a call from my then-boss saying he has to let me go from the company. I remember vividly how devastating that was. Around this time, COVID-19 was taking hold across the world. Everyone sheltered in place and struggled to adapt to the new normal, while others discovered new passions, acquired new skills and found ways to keep busy and creative. I no longer had an income, but I suddenly now had a lot more time to invest into the things I love doing – creating content on Shinesparkers, hunting Xbox achievements, cooking and making arts and crafts.

At some point in the early Spring I was compelled to help my mother with some yard work in her garden, something I am terrible at. Going down the steps into the field, I noticed one of her flowerpots was damaged, and partially broken. Six pieces had broken off. A lightbulb flashed above my head, and I saw the potential to repurpose these into art pieces. Recently I’ve taken a great interest in repurposing items that might otherwise end up in a landfill – or worse, in the stomach of a poor dolphin or turtle – as art, like chip bags, plastic straws, dipping sauce cups, and paper scraps. These pottery shards seemed like the perfect opportunity for some painting.

Soon after, I had another lightbulb moment: the Six Fanart Challenge was going on at this time. This was a trend on Twitter and other social media where artists would ask for six random characters to draw, paint or color. I did my own version of this challenge, and asked six members of the Shinesparkers team for Metroid characters to paint. Glaedrax gave me Bob (the Rock Icicle creature from Metroid 2/Samus Returns), David Porvia gave me Trace, Quadraxis (“Quaddy”) gave me the Mutated SA-X, Vectrex28 gave me Crocomire, Komodo gave me Mini-Kraid and Darren gave me Quadraxis. Within a week, I’d painted all six.

That was too easy for me. I am someone who always likes a challenge, and works through massive creative projects slowly and steadily. My to-do lists always get finished. After getting the approval/“okay” from my mom to do so, I broke the pot, filming myself kicking it down the steps into the field below. It gave a satisfying crack as soil and pieces went everywhere. I shared the video with Darren, who, in the pot breaking, saw our hopes and dreams for Metroid Prime 4 releasing in 2020 vanishing. I set to work excavating each piece, before grabbing a hammer to break down the ones that were still large. In total, I ended up with 101 pieces. Inside, I cleaned and set them down in a corner of the floor, where I would periodically collect a new one and paint it. My style evolved over time and began to incorporate outlining using a black Sharpie, which made each character shine.

As the months went on I asked for more characters from my other friends at Shinesparkers. After finishing each piece, I would take a photo for the person who gave me that character to get their feedback. It was always very positive, but I welcomed constructive criticism. Everyone gave me characters, enemies and items based on their familiarity with Metroid. One of the most creative ideas came from David, who suggested I recreate some of the Chozo wall art in Zero Mission. I found a hieroglyph of a cleric in Chozodia and painted that to his delight.

My favorite pieces are the larger ones showing the major characters. In particular, I’m proudest of my Mutated SA-X, Crocomire, Arachnus, Rundas, Metroid Prime (both forms) and Mecha Ridley pieces. This was a rewarding lockdown project to complete in the nighttime, when all was quiet and I could play some music while I worked. It motivated me to paint outside the project, on scraps of cardboard and dipping sauce containers and their lids, which I’d wash and dry, then gluing them together to paint non-Metroid characters on.

It was no surprise that many of the subjects came from Super Metroid, Metroid Prime, Metroid Prime 2: Echoes and Metroid Fusion, the most popular Metroid games. Conversely, it was even less surprising that the fewest came from Other M or Federation Force. I had to specifically ask for some of those from Darren, who like me keeps an objective view when it comes to those games. Even if they’re the most hated by much of the fanbase, they’re still Metroid media and we’re obligated to include them in our coverage.

The project was finally finished on March 13, 2021. Near the end, getting more subjects to paint was challenging. Many of them couldn’t come up with more ideas, and I was down to the smallest pieces. It’s hard to paint the biggest creatures on those and still have them in great detail. One of Quaddy’s last suggestions, the Parasite Queen, ended up terribly as I could only paint a small portion of its face, and it’s barely recognizable. With only eleven pieces left, I decided to choose them all myself and picked one enemy or item from every Metroid game, with the final piece having the Metroid Prime 4 logo on one side, and the Shinesparkers logo (not pictured) on the other.

Whereas the first piece in this collection – Bob – represented the last Metroid game to be released, Metroid: Samus Returns, the final piece represented the future of the Metroid series. Darren offered me the idea of painting the Shinesparkers logo on the other side, which I liked as it allowed me to include this site in my project. Working for Shinesparkers, with this excellent team of dedicated Metroid fans has been hugely rewarding, and it gave me a creative outlet to produce these pieces and share them with our readers in this feature. I hope you’ll enjoy my paintings. If you do, perhaps a second wave of these is in order? Time will tell.

Written by RoyboyX

Staff Choices

Darren (28) – Quadraxis, Ridley, Kraid, Serris, Mutated Emperor Ing, SA-X, Nightmare, Yakuza, Arachnus, Anthony Higgs, Stone Toad, Aurora Unit 313, Ice Titan, General Alex Miles, Rinka, Adam’s helmet, Zebesian, Etecoons, Dachora, Madeline Bergman, Hunter Ing, Gorea, Alimbic, Flipper, Metroid Prime (Core), Missile, Energy Tank, Mecha Ridley

RoyboyX (11) – Zebetite, Gullugg, Gadora, Joulion, Genesis, Blastcap, Psycho Bit, Rezbit, Aerial Repair Drone, Metroid Prime 4 and Shinesparkers logos

Vectrex28 (13) – Crocomire, Deceased Soldier, U-Mos, Ensnared Kiru Giru, Reptilicus, Pirate Trooper, Hunter Metroid, Zoomer, Alpha Metroid, Holtz, Barbed War Wasp, Triclops, Chute Leech

Quaddy (13) – Mutated SA-X, Noxus, Chykka Larva, X Parasites (Red, Yellow, Green and Blue), Omega Metroid, Warrior Ing, Alpha Blogg, Infant Tallon Metroid, Flaahgra, Parasite Queen

Glaedrax (11) – Bob, Dark Samus, Samus, Rundas, Sylux, Spire, Kanden, Weavel, Ripper, Hornoad and Metroid Prime (Exo)

Naner (7) – Morph Ball, Baby, Zero Suit Samus, Beams, Screw Attack, Skree, Dessgeega

David Porvia (5) – Trace, Botwoon, Charge Beam Beast, Chozo glyph, Queen Metroid

KomodoZero (4) – Mini-Kraid, Sheegoth, Grenchler, Thardus

Leon (4) – Ghor, Gandrayda, Bryyonian Labor Golem, Crawltank

Amanda (3) – Phantoon, Evir, Dragon

Mr. Mendelli (3) – Ingsmasher, Sandbat, Sandigger

Character Count by Game

Metroid and Metroid: Zero Mission (12)

Metroid II: Return of Samus and Metroid: Samus Returns (9)

Super Metroid (15)

Metroid Fusion (11)

Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime Pinball (14)

Metroid Prime 2: Echoes (15)

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (11)

Metroid Prime Hunters (10)

Metroid: Other M (4)

Metroid Prime: Federation Force (2)

Metroid Prime 4 (1)