Hey Poptropicans! We’re featuring the storied drawings of Barefoot Knuckle. Hear about them from the artist herself in this guest post!
“Modern Rapunzel” (Fairytale Island style)
I always imagined Rapunzel being preoccupied with videogames and other tech-related stuff so she wouldn’t have any time or interest to escape the tower! Apparently she made it outside, but she seems to still be drawn more to the world of Mario than the real world surrounding her. I also took inspiration from the gamer costumes in the Poptropica store, animal hoodies and pajamas, plus sleep/lounge wear. I figured Rapunzel doesn’t own anything but comfy clothes to wear around the house. And of course she would enjoy adding multi-colored highlights in her hair! So what if no one sees it?
“Modern Beauty and the Beast” (Fairytale Island style)
Beauty and the Beast has got to be my favorite fairytale and it’s not just because of the movie! The original story was amazing as well and I was excited to draw Beauty as a quirky, shy girl with a green thumb who doesn’t seem to mind gardening in the new gown her host gave her. Speaking of which, although you can see his horns, the Beast seems to only show his bird-masked face as he’s hiding behind his new friend. The garden was really fun to draw and in the background you can see a crow in a birdbath, the castle behind the garden gates and the pink skies of Fairytale Island in the distance. This art is mostly inspired by the original fairytale, but the box Beauty is holding is a reference to the actress who played Beauty/Belle in the original Disney classic. But from what we can see, the only book this Beauty is carrying is about gardening.
“Modern Aladdin” (Fairytale Island style)
Aladdin has to be my second favorite fairytale! I was debating whether or not to do this since Poptropica already did Arabian Nights. But, what if the Aladdin story acted as a sort of bridge between Fairytale Island and Arabian Nights Island? So after that thought, I gave Aladdin an updated look to match the sneak peeks of Fairytale Island, complete with a trench coat and jeans! However, Aladdin’s scarf, makeup, and hair look kind of familiar to someone we know. If the picture isn’t enough of a clue, refer to Disney’s Aladdin 3: The King of Thieves and the deleted song, “Proud of Your Boy.” You might realize what the connection is, though I mixed it up a little to fit the Poptropican canon. Also, since the original Aladdin fairytale took place in China, I added the Chinese stone bowl from Time Tangled Island in reference.
4. “Marshal Dixie” (Wild West Island, main OC)
Wild West Island is another fan favorite of mine. When I was developing the idea for a Wild West Island novel, I wanted the main character to be unlike anything there had been. And so, I developed the concept of an anti-hero named Dixie (or her other alias, pickpocket Rattlesnake Rhonda). I took inspiration from movies like Rango, McLintock (starring John Wayne), and Briscoe County Jr. A 14-year-old teenage pickpocket trying to keep her cover by posing as a marshal and trying to tame a horse just as stubborn, clever, and wild as she is, just seemed too good a story to pass up. Of course, though she and Elmer start off at each other’s throats, they eventually team up to stop El Mustachio Grande’s gang and become a force of good to be reckoned with. I mean, Dixie added Elmer to her Sheriff portrait, so they had to have become close at some point. You can see some personality through Dixie’s mischievous expression while using her prank pistol and Elmer’s unamused face.
Remember when a Pop Creator said that the forest art for Monster Carnival was a mix of creepy and beautiful? Well, while Ringmaster Raven shares the creepy half, his daughter, Dove (my OC), has the beautiful half. She was based on the real life character of Joseph Merrick, who, unlike Bird Boy, was taken in and cared for before he became the toast of English society. He was also known as the Elephant Man because of his disfigured body. Dove, like Merrick, was taken in and cared for, unlike her estranged father. The only trait she has that makes her stand out from the other Poptropicans are a pair of shiny black wings she was born with. Even though she was mocked and ridiculed by others, she has a beautiful, sweet, and sassy disposition, as well as the voice of an angel. She rose to become a famous singer and is often compared to a real life angel. I love drawing her in her 50’s casual dress and her ringmaster outfit. I was going for an appearance inspired by The Greatest Showman as well as the hidden gem of a movie, A Monster in Paris. These two drawings go together.
“An Astro-Knight Night”
This was completed years ago and was one of my first Poptropica drawings. I wanted to capture the Princess’s point of view, looking out into space, and her love for astronomy. This took like two days to make. Those planet designs nearly killed me.
“The Shakespeare Club”
This was completed right alongside “An Astro-Knight Night.” Really, this was just a comedic piece. I will say, I was not skilled in the coloring department when I made this. My parents did laugh at Gamer Guy’s review though. Imagine what would happen at those meetings! Of course, Max McPatrick (from Mocktropica) would lead the group (with special assistance from Napoleon Dynamite) but how they got Hades to pose for the poster, I’ll never know.
“One Eyed Chavez” (OC)
While thinking about creating a series based on Poptropica, I started asking the question, “What kind of original characters could be featured in such a series?” I then came up with the idea of a bounty hunter named One Eyed Chavez, who keeps crossing paths with Oliver, Mya, and Jorge (from Mystery of the Map). At first the kids don’t know what to make of her, even though she helps them thwart Octavian on one occasion. It isn’t until Jorge, after getting separated from the team, winds up in the hands of Chavez, who after revealing herself as Debbie Luches, explains to Jorge that she is stranded in Poptropica just like he and his friends are. Though she doesn’t plan to leave her life inside this complex world, she does become a mentor for Jorge in many ways.
I was going for a battle-worn, scrappy look with just a touch of feminine beauty peeking out behind her scars and armor. My main inspirations were from Mandalorian and the Bad Batch characters from Clone Wars (series is great btw). Though she doesn’t show much emotion, the scar and eye patch are a visible sign of the hurt and pain she experienced in her past. Her purpose in the series is to help Jorge learn to be strong and appreciate the people (mainly his parents) in his life while also teaching him to fight and skillfully fly aircrafts (unlike the way he did in The Secret Society). She is an important part to Jorge’s development, so when he says in the graphic novel, “Guys, I just realized something… You’re the best friends I’ve ever had,” it feels earned and helps the creator (me) know that Chavez filled her purpose.
“The Princess and the Raven”
I don’t know what gave me this idea, but I thought they would be cute together. This is my first Raven/Bird Boy drawing I’ve ever done so I tried to make sure it looked great! I thought Snow White was designed beautifully in Fairytale Island, and she has been one of my favorite princesses since I was little, so of course I wanted to draw her. Besides, since her true love is animals, I’m sure she would want to befriend someone who is technically part animal/bird. Plus I think she made a good impression on him, so I think he’ll behave for her. Again, she did say animals were her true love and he is part bird, so 😉 it’s possible.
That concludes this Pop Fan Artist Spotlight! If you liked Barefoot Knuckle’s work, you’ll enjoy the many other forms of Art from the Poptropica community. Check them out and consider sharing yours!