Lively, herself, is is some ways like my own personal "Mickey Mouse", so to speak... to put it in an analogy:
Mickey Mouse is to Disney,
as Lively is to Kandice Zimbleman/BlackUniGryphon.
I have been writing stories of Lively even before I even named her. I wrote stories about her in Middle School since at least the 6th grade, often as spooky stories, Halloween stories, ghost stories, or almost Alice in Wonderland or Oz type stories of stumbling into another world, or an unusual circumstance. She was a Disney princess, American Style Marvel Comics super hero/heroine, Star Trek science officer, etc.... But, in some ways she was like me, in the same way that playing with barbie dolls is also an extension of yourself.
I definitely played with Barbie dolls, My Little Pony, She-Ra action figures and I LOVED TO PLAY WITH Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles and X-MEN action figures! I had 3 brothers, and my cousins in Pennsylvania were both boys. The only neighbor kids we could play with on my street growing up were also only boys.
It was because of Star Trek TNG and X-MEN then Lively became 2 girls for a long time, throughout Middle School, and early in High School, named Hedrol & Kestrel/Kestra. She also had a friend whom lived in the woods that was named Osprey that was a Hippie that lived in the woods.
By the mid 1990s I felt Kestrel & Hedrol were too unoriginal, and too much like Marvel Comics & Star Trek and I often got nasty criticisms from some boy artists I knew in my town. So, I took out the wild stuff of Kestrel and stuff with the more trendy 90s fashions, yet some earthy adventurousness, and Lively began to really become something for real... at least to me, she was...
Some non-artists in high school, or ones I knew from middle school, would ask me: Who is that girl?
That girl you always draw?
I thought it was a strange question for a non-artists, and so many of them, to keep having the effrontery to ask me such a thing! Why did she need a name? And, I also felt I clearly drew different girls at times....
This annoyed me... and many of my best ideas were things that annoyed me during Spring Break. Every single artistic breakthrough, or new thing I came up with always was during a Spring Break... except for Senior Year in High school...
I've told the story before, but Lively is a person full of life, and this was LONG BEFORE Pocahontas was a Disney film! But, I got the name from the REAL Princess Pocahontas which in her language means "Lively" or "Frolicsome". Or "full of life".
Lively is everyone's friend, a kind person, a strong person, and not held by gender boundaries. IN some ways like what the brand Barbie was meant to be.
BUT, LIVELY IS NOT A BLOND!
Lively, has NEVER BEEN, and NEVER WILL BE A BLOND!
I HATED the idea when I was a kid that BLOND was beautiful! That I wasn't GOOD ENOUGH as just me. I was also a fat kid in middle school.
I happen to think Brunette is BEAUTIFUL.
AND, Lively shall FOREVER be a Brunette BEAUTY. But, I have depicted her in different colored hair: black, brown, dark red, blood red, red brown, purple, blue, dark green, and anything DARK. NO WHITE or BLOND., and NO PINK! NO F@#$ING WAY!
I pretty much kept my hair as either natural or the occasional black in college because I F@#$ING HATED THIS PUSHED IDEA THAT EVERYONE NEEDS TO BLEACH THEIR DAMNED HAIR! Fuck ur chemicals! I grew out my hair long, natural for the most part, and if I ever used color in my hair it wasn't permanent.
Fuck ur made-up marketing slogan "blonds have more fun"!
Because I had more dates, offers, male flirtings, hook-ups and more, and I never once bleached my hair!
I also wasn't racist, and was pretty equal opportunity in dating & hooking up with a diverse amount of men. The whole idea of "the all American" was so disappointing to me... And, yes, I even hooked up with sexy secular Muslim men in college. And, it was rather nice. :)
I kept getting Animation Scholarships at the UARTS in Philly in high school since I was a Sophomore. The animation teacher, Lowel Boston, kept giving me them, and they kept getting bigger and better... they often gave them to me TOO LATE, so I had to wait a semester or whatever.
After having gone almost EVERY SATURDAY (when I was actually enrolled into the classes) I already KNEW all of the Saturday classes' lessons, so I wanted to do my own thing. Many of the students already did whatever they wanted anyway, and the teacher Lowel was fine with that. So, I wanted to actually try to many something. that's when Lively began to really become a permanent thing in my life from then on.
Much of her distinct looks started at the UARTS, or when I was at home, designing stuff for my next projects to work on at the UARTS on the Penciltest Machine!
Animation is the greatest joy of my entire life!
Lively also helped me (metaphorically) create Djehkäujaa. Towards the end of high school, I don't know why, but I became SO ENAMORED with dragons! I went through a dragon phase as a little kid for a while, and also in 6th-7th grade.... But, dragons became such a thing with me, that I put them on my clothes, and next thing I knew fashions in 1999-2002 had Chinese dragons all over them for girls/women.
I could already FEEL a setting forming in my mind... and I already had my concept for "Eyewitness" starting... but, I didn't know what to do with it....
When I went to AIPH my friends Shannon & Kyle and their network of friends were all designing characters, and creating all kinds of wonderful things! Then, my characters really started to become a lot more to them.
And, my Character Design class with Don Bluth/Disney Animator, Sam Bullock, really made me develop the characters, and the stories.
Among the many things I wrote for Lively, including "Eyewitness", and the still Untitled Dragon Project, I wrote a little series for her called "Lively's Mini Unicorn" which is actually very funny and cartoonist, but also depicts the free spirit of Lively. I would like to rewrite some of it actually, but also to finish it. It's a totally different story than the Untitled Dragon Project, but a similar setting and place... I could easily see it as a novel series, but also as a manga (Japanese style comic book/graphic novel).
I'd published different versions of the first 3 chapters online on various websites since the early GW Bush era, then rewrote it and added new chapters on my Deviant Art gallery around 2005 or so... I actually really like the basis of the story. Its a mix of a few different influences from the time period, and it's both whimsical, magical, and silly. But, I think I want to remove some of the neo-pagan "spiritual" parts...